Hardwar roza iftar row set to snowball | india | Hindustan Times
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Hardwar roza iftar row set to snowball

india Updated: Oct 17, 2006 01:41 IST
M Hasan

SAMAJWADIS ROZA Iftar politics at “Har ki Pauri” in Hardwar is all set to snowball into a major political controversy in the state. It could be fodder to both, the SP and the BJP, in the election-bound UP. Earlier, last week the gates of the official residence of the chief minister were thrown open for sumptuous Roza Iftar party.

Nearly a dozen Samajwadi Party leaders, who had assembled at Hardwar on October 14-15 for the two-day national executive committee meeting, organised Roza Iftar (breaking of day-long fast) party at the VIP ghat of the holy river Ganga. According to information there is a ban on holding such programmes in the area. Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, who has been desperately trying to keep the Muslim community in good humour, was quick to defend his party leaders’ action at the sanctum sanctorum of highly revered Hindu religious place.

But the BJP supported by Hindu Jagran Manch, Sadhus and Shiv Sainiks took to streets to clash with SP activists in the temple town.

While Yadav pontificated that “Ganga sab ki hai” (river Ganga belonged to everybody) the BJP assailed the SP for defiling the sanctity of the area. Was the move deliberate or it just happened by chance, is debatable, but the chief minister by joining the issue has given ample indication that SP’s minorityism knew no bounds.

Whether the minority community has been socially and economically benefited in the state during the last three years is open to question, gimmicks are galore to catch the attention.

The Iftar controversy flowing from Hardwar is presumably aimed at keeping the atmosphere heated in the run up to the crucial state assembly elections.

Even though there is now no-holds barred battle between the SP and BJP on minority issues, the strategy and counter strategy of both the parties apparently seems to help each other. The minority community apprehension of the BJP’s re-emergence is always politically advantageous to the SP.

While BJP leader Kalyan Singh last month rushed to Ayodhya to announce “Musalmano ka vote nahin chahiye” (we don’t need votes of Muslims), the chief minister visited Nadwatul Uloom, popularly known as “Nadva” to enumerate achievements of his government to All India Muslim Personal Law Board chairman Maulana Rabe Hasani Nadvi.

Later Nadvi, much to the consternation of the board members, appeared with Yadav on a public platform in Rampur.